April 06, 2017

New sick-leave pool makes it easier to donate and access extended leave

sick leaveA new sick-leave pool will simplify the process of securing paid leave for employees because of their illness or that of an immediate family member. The policy update, developed by the Employee Benefits Committee following a suggestion from the UAB Faculty Senate, is effective now and will be posted online soon.

The new UAB Sick Time Donation Program will enable university and UAB Hospital employees and retirees to make non-specific donations to a leave pool to benefit employees

  • eligible for paid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act
  • who have no more than five accrued leave days to their credit.

Employees may receive as many as 30 pool days for a single instance of leave; the lifetime limit is 60 days during the course of employment at UAB.

 The current practice of employee-to-employee sick-leave donations still will be allowed, said Benefits Director Mike Boyd, but the new policy takes the onus off the employee and their department to identify qualified leave donors. “There is a sick time pool form, and the entire process is managed by Human Resources,” he said. 

All employees, including those retiring, will be able to donate as many as 60 days (480 hours) to the sick leave pool. A single form to donate or request leave from the pool is available for download on the Human Resources site.

Excess potential

UAB offers generous leave policies for its employees, and long-time employees who do not experience serious or catastrophic health events often accumulate sick leave — much of which is forfeited when they retire.But, for example, if half of the 300 retirees in calendar year 2015 had able to donate 15 days in excess sick time that would have generated 18,000 hours or 450 weeks of leave to assist employees in need at no additional cost to the university.

“Our challenge continues to be containing our benefit costs while adding new options that are valued by our faculty and staff,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Alesia Jones. “For that reason, this option for sick-leave donation enables us to be a better employer, generous colleagues and excellent stewards of state resources.” 

The sick-leave pool adds to UAB’s expanding list of family-friendly benefits such as parental leave, expanded sick leave for probationary employees , paid leave benefits for organ donors, an increase to the minimum wage and plans for expanded child care on and off campus.  Direct questions related to the new sick-leave donation policy or leaves in general to Records Administration at hrmrecords@uab.edu or 205-934-4408.